As you walk down this shadowy street of my (your) memory, pay attention to your body and the breeze going past, the way I (you) shudder as a leaf blows or a shadow rolls past – from the car, a train, a carousel in the distance. Reach into my (your) pocket for a trinket or a token from that time – when was it? – long ago yet not so long, for this object is right here in my (your) hand. How does it feel? The imprint of it in my (your) palm, its weight in the fingers. Gaze out and see shadows…nothing is very clear in this dim light, but still it feels familiar and I (you) can make out shapes and mood at the sound and the presence of my (your) body. My (your) hand in someone else’s, but you (they) are no longer there. What is that like?

Adrienne Westwood

I had the privilege of enjoying Adrienne’s performance piece Record, to which this is the preamble, last night at One Red Arm (a very cool performance space in DUMBO). The piece was beautifully composed and played with memory, symmetry and asymmetry, framework, and participant experience.The work made me feel calmly grounded in the surreal collective memory and experience of the performers and audience; even when we frantically fumble for the truth and reality, we hold on to the recognizable and feel like we’ve been there before, which returns us to a comfortable, rhythmic calm.

A flipbook made for this performance was available before the show. This moving video, of sorts, was another source of recognition during the performance, even though i had temporarily forgotten about it, as the recognition only flashed after we had moved together as one audience through three pieces and sets into a fourth. This is one example of the meticulous attention to detail and pacing of the piece.

I’m not a dance critic, so I can’t be as scholarly as I’d like, but I thought this was a beautiful piece to experience and I look forward to following Adrienne’s work.

State of NYC Dance

This study was executed by Dance/NYC and sheds important light on how the dance community is doing both programmaticly and operationally. It’s gotten coverage in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, too!

via an introduction by Kate Levin, the city’s Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs:

Taking a thoughtful approach, the study highlights the complex challenges facing this community, as well as its many accomplishments. By offering a detailed analysis of so many aspects of the dance industry – from the performers to the producers to the audiences – this report delineates many significant contributions to the City’s creative ecology.

So, give it a read and keep the dialogue going! It is only through understanding and conversation that we can continue to support the arts, and this report is a phenomenal start.

State of NYC Dance

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular adventure.

(Click for bigger images and captions.)

Brooklyn Museum (best ever; seriously, become a member) brought the 1920s to life tonight! It was super fun (evidenced by the video and use of the Diddley Bow) and super creepy (evidenced by the 10+ people, mostly old men, who overtly took out their camera phones to capture the relative normalcy of Valerie and me). The exhibit was neat (though I need to go back and give it a deeper look) and certainly was well-curated. Oh, there was also candy from the decade on all of the tables, and no, I will not share how much I ate.